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Big Diets for Small Dogs

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Dog sitting beside 3 overflowing bowls of dog food

Big Diets for Small Toy Dogs

You might think that there’s a one-size-fits-all type of diet for dogs, but every breed, size, and age of dogs has their own unique preferences and requirements. For example, did you know that toy breeds are particularly unique from others? Both their personalities and nutritional needs are different from small, medium, and large dogs in several ways.

How Will I Know A Toy Dog If I See One?

Toy breed dogs are thought to be one in the same with small dogs, but some of their characteristics make all the difference. Toy breeds are little balls of energy that could spend hours at a time yipping, jumping, cuddling, and squirming! According to Wellness Pet Food, they can weigh up to 18 pounds, but typically weigh in at less than 12. If you’re wondering what these dogs might be, think of popular, adorable breeds like Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Malteses, and Yorkshire Terriers! They’re the ones that fit right into your purse or lap!

Dietary Requirements

Diet wise, all canines require a balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates for needed energy. Toy dogs need higher levels of fat in comparison to other dogs because of how active and energetic they are, and lower levels of protein since they don’t need to maintain as much muscle mass. However, the protein that they do receive still contributes to the energy they need. It can be given in the form of chicken, turkey, beef, fish, etc. Toy dogs need more calories per pound of food (40 kcals) given to them because of how quickly their metabolism works. They burn through energy much faster, therefore need to be supplied with more of it. Complex carbohydrates, including grains, vegetables, and fruits are necessary for this reason. Find a food that uses plenty of ingredients rich in antioxidants, especially Vitamin B, for an efficient metabolism. Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids will keep your dog’s immune system strong and at lower risk of illness. 

Underfeeding your pet or not providing them with a sufficient amount of the correct, healthy calories can lead to medical conditions like low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. This comes along with weakness, lethargy, seizures, and muscle tremors.

While your pet’s food should contain more calories, this doesn’t mean you should be stuffing them full or overfeeding them. Everything is best in moderation, and obesity is a common issue among any of our food loving pooches. Also common is high blood pressure, diabetes, heart and respiratory issues, arthritis, etc. Feeding your dog smaller portions more frequently throughout the day is more suitable for toy breeds. They can be fed between three to four times a day, but it ultimately depends on your dog’s individual needs and lifestyle.

When selecting a food product, keep in mind that these small companions, of course, have smaller mouths, teeth, and digestive tracts. Kibble should be the smallest possible size so that your furry friend doesn’t choke or have a hard time chewing. This can lead to internal blockage, gastrointestinal upsets, and just an overall less pleasant dining experience. The food itself should be easily digestible, and it’s very beneficial if the product has a naturally rough, crunchy texture. This reduces plaque and tartar buildup, promoting better dental health and fresher breath.

Lastly, toy dogs are unique in how fast they mature in comparison to medium and large dogs. While larger dogs can take up to one and a half to three years to mature and be considered adults, toy dogs can take up to just eight months to one year. This calls for you to switch feeding your dog a puppy formula to an adult formula. Then from an adult formula to a senior formula when the time calls. The products available in the pet world today have become so tailored to each individual animal that they are able to provide food for toy breeds of each life stage, as nutritional requirements change in accordance with size, age, breed, and lifestyle.

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